Blood cancers

New PBS listings for lymphoma and MM treatments

Obinutuzumab (Gazyva ) will be listed on the PBS from 1 October for as a first line treatment for advanced follicular lymphoma.

The immunotherapy agent will be subsidised for previously untreated patients with stage II bulky or stage III/IV follicular lymphoma. It will also be listed for patients with rituximab-refractory follicular lymphoma.

The decision, following a review by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee in March 2018,  is expected to benefit about 700 patients.

Another blood cancer drug being given an additional listing on the PBS from 1 October is  pomalidomide (Pomalyst) for relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma patients.

In March 2018 the PBAC recommended extending the PBS restriction for pomalidomide to include the treatment of patients contraindicated to, or who have experienced severe intolerance to lenalidomide and/or bortezomib for relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma.

It is estimated about 30 patients could benefit from this extended indication.

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